Can Covering A Vent Cause A Fire? (Answered)

The placement of your furniture is not just dictated by aesthetics but also logistics including where the vents are.

Most people will keep things simple and avoid putting their sofa on top of a vent. This is due to a natural rule of thumb to not block off a vent that is letting in cooling or heating during the day.

This is true, but what about the safety of covering a vent in the room? Can covering a vent cause a fire?

Covering a vent can cause a fire. While rare, the heat can spark the heat exchanger connected to the vent. This leads to a fire breaking out and then spreading throughout the property.

As mentioned, this is rare and it is not something you should expect to happen by covering the vent.

However, the real concern is the amount of money and energy you are going to waste. The utility bills will go up because the vent is covered and regulating room temperature will become a much harder task.

Due to this, you are going to end up spending more to regulate the room temperature and keep it steady.

This article will explain more on whether or not covering a vent can cause a fire and what to consider when placing furniture around the room.

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Tips For Covering A Vent

1. Don’t Cover All Of The Vents

Is it ok to cover a heating vent?

This is the question you will ask and it is generally not recommended to cover a heating vent. If you do, then it’s best to make sure some of the vents are left open to keep the airflow consistent.

When too many vents are blocked, this keeps the warm air inside the vents for too long. This is dangerous.

The issue comes down to the heat exchanger having to deal with a sudden increase of warm air coming back to it. This creates problems because the heat exchanger is going to start to give out.

You will eventually have a situation where the heat exchanger gets ruined, releases carbon monoxide, and/or sparks causing a fire inside the home.

can covering a vent cause a fire

2. Complete Blockages Are Not Recommended

Blocking air vents in houses is more about understanding how air flows from one room to the next.

These vents are interconnected, which means you have to be careful.

You can’t have a situation where a vent is completely blocked.

This means not having an item sitting flat against the vent. There should be a bit of space between the bottom of the sofa/table and the vent.

This will ensure the air can still release out of the vent even if it is not impacting the room.

When the vent is completely blocked and you do this with multiple vents, the issues start to mount.

You will eventually have heat exchanger problems that are much harder to fix.

3. Keep Tabs On The Heat Exchanger

It is always important to look at the heat exchanger and ensure it’s in good condition year-round.

When a person starts covering vents around the house, you will need to be aware of the airflow inside the vents.

This means if the heat exchanger is beginning to show signs of distress, it’s time to open the vents and unblock them as soon as possible.

If not, the heat exchanger is going to break down, and then you will have a much more costly issue on your hands.

can covering a vent cause a fire

4. Check The Carbon Monoxide Levels With A Detector

This is one of those ignored issues that can become a major health risk.

You have to understand carbon monoxide can spread inside the home when a heat exchanger malfunctions. This is just as big of a concern as the fire breaking out inside the vents.

If carbon monoxide releases everywhere, you are going to pass out and that’s a serious issue.

The best option is to have a carbon monoxide detector set up at home. You will hear it beep when the levels are increasing allowing you to act fast.

This is important if you are going to be blocking vents in different rooms.

Final Thoughts

Can covering a vent cause a fire?

Covering a vent can cause a fire. While it’s rare, the issue often stems from the heat exchanger getting compromised. When air doesn’t release, it will apply pressure on the heat exchanger, which will then begin to spark causing a fire to break out.

As noted, it is not going to happen in most cases, but it is something to be aware of.

You should not be taking chances with something like this due to the amount of damage it can do to the home.

Read More On Homes:

  1. Is It Good To Install Vented Gas Fireplaces?
  2. Should TV Go In Front Of A Heat Vent?
  3. Is It Smart To Vent Portable AC Using Fireplace?
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  5. How Many Fixture Units For Vent?
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